Made homophobic remarks to police

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-238.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-238.

A Lurgan man was deemed to be guilty of a hate crime after he made homophobic comments towards female police officers, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.

Noel David Steele (64), Greenhill Park, Lurgan, admitted disorderly behaviour and resisting a police officer on March 8 this year.

At the same court his son, Craig Steele (29), also of Greenhill Park, Lurgan, admitted two charges of assaulting a constable on the same date.

He was fined £200 on each of the two charges and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

The court heard that at 10.30pm police received a 999 call from an address in Dollingstown where a female made an allegation about Craig Steele.

This allegation was not proceeded with.

A short time later they went to an address in Lurgan where Steele refused to provide his details and assaulted two officers by kicking them on the legs.

CS spray had to be used to complete the arrest.

The public prosecutor added that initially Noel Steele co-operated with the police but then he went into the house and returned with a large wolf like dog saying ‘this will even things up’.

He threatened police with the dog.

There were two female officers present and Steele made homophobic comments towards them. Details of the comments were handed in to the judge.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, found that in the case of Noel Steele this was a hate crime and adjourned sentencing until May 13 so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

She said this incident only occurred after an allegation in respect of Craig Steele and it would have been done and dusted if Craig Steele had not kicked off. By virtue of that his father was facing a possible custodial sentence.

A barrister representing Craig Steele said he had a limited record and that a relationship was a catalyst for his recent offending.

Judge Kelly said Steele had nothing in his record for offences of public disorder.